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Edinson Volquez Shuts Down Phillies

Edinson Volquez, 24, is the main player the Reds acquired for Josh Hamilton, in case you were wondering. He allowed just one run in 5 1/3 innings and struck out eight Phillies today in Cincinnati.

This gets its own post because the Reds' season so far has really (finally!) been worthy of your attention. Uber-prospect Johnny Cueto made his big league debut earlier this week and threw a perfect game through five innings. Slugging prospect Joey Votto won some playing time at first base. Jeff Keppinger, the former Pirates prospect who gets passed from organization to organization every year but has always deserved better, is playing shortstop in place of the injured Alex Gonzalez and is hitting .435; if he keeps hitting, he should keep helping the Reds win games even after Gonzalez returns. And then there's Volquez, who along with Cueto could immediately turn the Reds' rotation into a good one.

Corey Patterson won the CF job over Jay Bruce, which is a shame for Reds fans, and Homer Bailey is back with Class AAA Louisville again. Still, though, Reds fans have every reason to be excited. Barring an intervention from the team's management (never out of the question), these guys could contend for the NL Central crown as early as this year. I may have underestimated them.